In spite of last-minute storm warnings, winds up to 25 knots on the Strait, a bit of rain and local patches of fog, the 2015 Bluewater Cruising Association Thanksgiving Rendezvous at the Thetis Island Marina and Pub was as successful as always. Although we experienced some windy moments and a downpour Saturday morning, on the whole the weather was mild and pleasant throughout, and for travel coming and going.
As always, members from all BCA chapters were present — doners, dreamers, doers, guests, and some new faces as well. Boats began arriving Friday and by Sunday night twenty-four boats, including some currently moored on distant shores, were represented and fifty-one people registered, arriving by boat, by ferry, by floatplane, a motorhome, and on foot.
Although many arrive early and some leave late, the main events take place on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Friday night was quiet with nothing formal planned. People settled in, enjoyed free beer provided by Paul, the marina owner, in the Pub and visited with friends.
Saturday morning, coffee and pastries were offered in the club room adjoining the pub at 0900 and during the day boats continued to arrive, check in with the Marina, and register with Heather Marshall, Calgary Chapter Secretary, aboard Mischief.
In the morning, dodging a downpour, we visited on the docks, members’ boats, or in the pub; or combed the beaches and hiked the Island. Boat visits were scheduled from 1400h to 1500h, offering an opportunity to see how others live aboard. A modest swap meet followed, and later, a pot luck supper in the club room. Afterwards we were entertained by Calgary Chapter Vice Commodore, Magnus Murphy, who showed a slide presentation about his return trip from Hawaii to Victoria aboard Losloper. Thanks Magnus!
Sunday began with a check-in and announcements on VHF radio followed by coffee and pastries, again up in the club room. The rest of the morning was devoted to visiting, walking or other personal pursuits.
At 1300h, preparation for the highly competitive annual model boat race – construction of seaworthy vessels – began. According to the rules, design and construction for the model boat race depends on what can be found on the beach. Participants are limited to materials they can scrounge. The race went off without a hitch under the capable leadership of Chris Stask and this year there was a clear winner with the victor receiving a $50 gift voucher from All Bay Marine Ltd in Sidney. Congratulations to the winning team of Linda Davies, Dana Fetherstonhaugh and Mark Hayward!
A traditional Thanksgiving dinner, complete with all the trimmings and dessert, followed in the Marina Pub and club room at 1800h. Supper was followed by a prize draw. The grand prize was a haul-out at Van Isle Marina. Calgary members Pam and Ted Simper donated a Thermos Shuttle Chef and an American Plumber Under-Sink Water Filtration System, Pamela Bendall donated a signed copy of ‘What Was I Thinking?’ — Adventures of a Woman Sailing Solo, and the Calgary Chapter donated several bottles of wine. The draws were followed by several slide presentations by David Greer and a promotion for his book, Wind in Your Sails. Thanks David!
Monday morning, coffee and pastries were again available in the club room, boats began to leave, and most were homeward bound by noon.
Thanks to all the generous prize donors. We also thank Paul Deacon and the staff of Thetis Island Marina and Pub for excellent service and a fabulous supper. A special thank you goes to Paul for providing a keg of beer “on the house”, and for other contributions to the success of this rendezvous. Lastly, thanks to everyone who worked hard to put together such a great event and everyone who made the effort to attend.
The last official rendezvous for the year is now over and 2015 is nearing its end, so it is time to look forward to 2016. If you missed out this year, make 2016 the year you attend at least one BCA rendezvous, and please mark your calendar to attend the 2016 BCA Thanksgiving Rendezvous on October 7-10, 2016 at the Thetis Island Marina.